"Why Abortion is Immoral" [that is a PDF download] is a philosophical essay by Don Marquis outlining a secular, philosophical argument on "whether or not a fetus is the type of being whose life it is seriously wrong to end". He argues that indeed it is that kind of being and that abortion is prima facie (not always) immoral. In the course of doing this, he gave me a "unified theory" on life issues (birth control, abortion, killing in general, and active euthanasia) that does not require secular supporters of abortion to embrace God or the Bible. Indeed, it saves me discussing the Bible with some liberal theologians as well.
In the midst of having two different discussions on abortion at the same time (one with liberal Christians at NARAL: Propaganda Tool of the Radical Right and one with conservative Christians at Breaking the 11th: Speaking Ill of Republicans) Lisa asked me this (in the NARAL discussion):
"However, since you did talk theologically for a moment, let me ask you: is God's mercy or justice more important?"That is an interesting juxtaposition since most want to examine "mercy" vs "judgment" (and not "justice"). The rest of the theological exchange with Lisa consisted of this:
AMB: Incidentally, groups outside of Abortion clinics can be terrifying. You wonder when they will attack you. Some do while they hand you phone numbers. Ambushing frightened, desperate women outside of a clinic is hardly helpful. There are better ways to help, if that is indeed what they are doing, rather than some judgmental (whore, slut, God will damn you to hell), self-righteous jackasses shoving paper at you and saying that your pain is not as important as the potential life of the child.
Me: people standing in front of abortion centers confronting women going in are going to have an UGLY chat with God at some point. Just my opinion. If someone is opposed to abortion they should be "coming alongside" someone planning to have one and give them the support they need not to.
Lisa: And what of compassion? Any god I would worship would be one of the deepest love and mercy... The embodiment of those things themselves, even . . . Who is your god, exactly?
Me: My God is one that says that even if I am to spend eternity with Him in His love - I still would have to account for beating someone so badly they had a miscarriage [AMB mentioned that a friend of hers had this experience coming out of an abortion clinic after going in to get information]. My God is a God who expects people, especially acting in His name, to treat people with His love - not shout "Murderer" at a women who may be suffering and confused . . . Would you have a God who would just ignore that? Just an "Aw, no big deal. Don't worry about it". My God is a God who demands justice; and sacrificed His own Son so that His justice could be provided in that sacrifice.
[Lisa's question quoted above]My answer there: "I do not think God would weigh one or the other as higher than the other. I think mercy and justice [judgment is here] are met perfectly in God, and only in God. Since we are called not to judge (unless we want to be judged by our own standards rather than God's), and I do not think it is my job to carry out divine (or secular) justice - mercy is far more important for me. This is true in how I deal with others and my hope in how God will deal with me. Of course, those two things are connected.("Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy")."
Here we are back in the Sermon on the Mount. The question that occurred to me later in the NARAL thread was this: why when abortion supporters ask about compassion (or mercy, or justice, or lack of judgment) for the women contemplating having an abortion do they not extend the questions of mercy, justice, and lack of judgment to the child that may die. Curious.
I agree that we must approach pregnant women thinking about abortion with compassion and mercy and help them to overcome the fears and barriers that may push them to treat their unborn child in a noncompassionate and unmerciful way - inflicting final earthly judgment on it in ending its life by abortion.
So, starting from the definitions linked above lets talk about God's, and ours, mercy, justice, and judgment. I do not particularly see this as an abortion discussion although it, along with many other things, may provide some examples to discuss.